Festive Holiday Dining

The holidays are full of traditions. From when and where you celebrate to the food you serve. And let’s not forget the decorations!! To me, my Christmas decorations are full of memories. I love the visions of Christmas past that I see when I look at my favorite pieces.

Traditions aren’t always relegated to the past. Sometimes life is about creating new traditions, like when a young family is just starting out.

So, whether you’re starting your venture in creating holiday traditions or want to change things up a bit, I have some simple and creative ideas for you!

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

If the whimsical entryway doesn’t give you the holiday feels, the welcoming great room definitely will!!

Are you wanting to create a beautiful table setting for the holidays but don’t know where to start? Find your favorite holiday platter, decoration or ornament and let your inspiration be your guide.

This Nostalgic Village Holiday serving platter, from Pier 1, was the launching point for our holiday collaboration, which includes the entryway, kitchen/dining area and great room.

Winter Wonderland

A beautiful floral arrangement and some votive candles are always a lovely option for a dining table centerpiece. However, sometimes the celebration calls for something a bit more bold.

Going for a bold centerpiece statement doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, it can be quite fun to try something new a different. The trick is for it to look cohesive. To do this, try putting together a group of similar items and then just vary the size and colors for visual interest.

The bottle brush tree dining table scape is a perfect example. The trees themselves were taken directly from the Pier 1 Nostalgic Village Holiday platter.

Using a jute and metallic table runner as a base, bottle brush trees of all sizes and colors were placed along the center of the dining table. The finishing touch is a scattering of small glittery white ornaments that resemble snow balls. The effect is stunning and stylish, a look that will compliment and existing decor!

Spruce up the Table Settings

Not everyone has a complete place setting of dining pieces to serve a large group of people. If you are the hub for family gatherings or simply enjoy hosting get togethers, a great place to start is with a classic white table setting. Find a collection that you like and start collecting!

If you’re in the early stages of building your dining collection or don’t have the space for a larger collection, there are still options.

Here are some ways to enhance or expand your existing table settings:

  • Pair white dinner plates with any assortment of salad plates, such as Santa, reindeer or Christmas tree plates.
  • Find holiday plates that match your everyday dishes. When I was married, we registered for some contemporary denim blue plates. We soon found some reindeer plates that matched perfectly and began collecting them. I love that it feels uniquely us!
  • Borrow some china from a family member and mix it in with your own china. Then add some complimentary holiday touches, such as some cloth napkins and a sprig of rosemary tied with holiday ribbon.
  • Clear glass or crystal plates go with so many things. I inherited at least twenty, with several different designs, and mix them with my other place settings.
  • If you’re hosting a crowd of people, Cranberry Sky Heirloom Rentals has you covered with a great selection of place settings.

We used colorful picture plates, from Cranberry Sky Heirloom Rentals, for this collaboration. And I love how the classic heirloom feel of the plates compliments the mid-century modern vibe of the bottle brush trees. The two looks were tied together through color creating a fabulous space!

This goes to show that it’s fun to blend different eras and styles to create a look that’s all your own.

Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding

Whether it’s figgy pudding or grandma’s famous caramel and cranberry cake you’re craving, there is usually no shortage of sweets during the holidays. This is the perfect opportunity to create a festive dessert buffet.

A dining hutch or kitchen island is the perfect place to set up a dessert buffet. Since our space had a large and accessible kitchen island, we used that space for our dessert buffet, larger floral arrangement and other fun details.

Here is a list of different elements to include in your dessert buffet setup:

  • A table runner or small table clothe not only protects the surface, but adds to the layers of decor by creating a foundation to build upon.
  • Apothecary jars and pedestal bowls and plates for height. These are perfect for cakes, cookies and candies.
  • Various sizes of serving plates and platters.
  • Cute containers to hold utensils and napkins.
  • And don’t forget the added touches of decorations to complete the look.

Floravore NW

How lucky were we to have Floravore NW create some fun and fabulous floral pieces for us??!!! The embellished tinsel tree was my favorite and it was the perfect addition to the dessert buffet.

Olivia, from Floravore NW shares some of her inspiration:

Although I love classic holiday color palettes, I was so thrilled to run with the idea of a more playful, vintage-inspired palette for this shoot. The bottle brush trees were my inspiration for the floral tree. The goal was to create a show stopping arrangement that tied in the different colors fo the trees, while continuing the subtle sparkle that was consistent throughout the shoot. I decided to use muted pinks, greens, and whites to create an ombre effect on the cascading floral wrapping the tree. Instead of focusing on choosing specific flowers, I prioritized textures- mixing baby hydrangeas, roses, carnations, and berries. I used natural and spray painted baby’s breath as a filler, to provide an additional airiness to the display.

Overall, my goal for this shoot was to show how accessible floral can be for any host or hostess! All of the floral and fruit used can be found at your local grocery store. When in doubt, let your existing decor inspire you and choose a 2-3 colors to base your floral choices off of. If you’re not sure what flowers go together, pick one color and focus your efforts on diversifying textures. And don’t forget, the vessel matters! So, pick a few of your favorite piece from around your home and use those for your holiday display!

Olivia Yates O’Donnell

Hostess Gifts

This time of year is definitely party season! From office parties to New Year’s celebrations, it seems like we’ve got something fun going on every week!

Knowing that you’re hostess has spent a bit of time and thought into her own event, it’s nice to reward her with a thoughtful hostess gift. The following are some fun ideas:

  • A bouquet of flowers is always nice. However, make sure that you bring it in a vase. This way your hostess doesn’t have to take time away from her guests to find a vase and arrange it.
  • A festively decorated wine glass. When I hosted my Halloween party, I had a large Halloween wine glass that I used. It made it super easy to find and identify my own glass. It was a definite plus since I was already busy socializing and entertaining my guests.
  • Whimsical bar accessories are also a great idea, such as bottle toppers and wine charms.
  • A nice candle in a decorative jar. This way, when the candle is done, there is a nice jar or bowl to use for entertaining.
  • A decorative plate or bowl filled with seasonal treats.

Here’s to a joyous holiday season!

Special Thanks to:

Amy Slusher Photography


Cranberry Sky Heirloom Rentals

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